After the disappointing Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, I had hoped that Resident Evil 6 would bring back from the dead the good old days of an actually scary survival game. What I actually got was a poor excuse for a third-person shooter that just tries too hard to be better than before. With four campaigns to play through and over 20 hours of game-play, Resident Evil 6 made for a very dull experience. In trying to make four different storylines, Capcom have sacrificed depth for variety of gameplay, that isn’t even that good! This is a clear example of when bigger definitely is not better. What you do get from the culmination of campaigns, is a sense of achievement when you can see the bigger picture and the results of your actions in one campaign being translated into another campaign.
After playing through the prologue, you get the choice of which campaign to begin with: Leon Kennedy, Jake Muller, Chris Redfield, with one secret one later on. All the campaigns play out differently and overlap at key points. However I found myself fighting the same bosses more than once and frankly the first time was dull enough. Leon’s campaign resembles the original Resident Evils the most, but apart from jumping once or twice, I never felt any tension or fear when playing the game. Sure, there were times when I had no ammo and I was frantically running away from zombies, but it never felt like I was in any real danger. There are a few puzzles in his campaign, but nothing that actually stretched me in any way. It would have been better if they had just left out any attempt at puzzles because the ones Capcom have put in are just insultingly easy. I did enjoy Leon’s campaign, but it could have achieved so much more had Capcom focused on one or two campaigns instead of spreading themselves thin with a grand total of four.
Chris Redfield has possibly the most boring campaign, as the first hour or so is just running through linear spaces and then shooting some zombies. At the end of each section there is a boss battle, which looks amazing but for the most part is rather dull and repetitive. Chris’s campaign feels like a poor version of Army of Two, but with zombies and bigger bosses. What stood out to me as a highlight and a disappointment of the game was Chris’ boss battle against a giant invisible snake. The fight itself was challenging and fun, but it was the monotonous fire-fights before and after that really ruined the boss for me. This campaign could have been omitted from the game and I would not have noticed, it gave the feel of a filler section for storyline purposes only.
“No fear, no suspense and a poor campaign left a truly bitter taste in my mouth and I think that maybe Resident Evil should finally stay dead.”
However it was Jake’s campaign that disappointed me the most. I felt like I was playing a knock-off copy of Gears Of War, without any of the fun. Long gun battle sequences that were just jarringly slow, as well as awful driving sequences that could have been cut out to save everyone hours of boredom, in practice just broke up what could have been a fun campaign. Jake’s adventure tries so hard to be a blockbuster, but in the process completely alienates itself from being anything other than bad. It is frustrating how something with so much potential can shoot itself in the foot so easily. You spend most of the campaign running away from the Ustanak, which at times can be very tense and enjoyable, but all tension is removed when you play with a partner. The A.I has been greatly improved in this game, but still is no match for having a human partner who can drop in and out of games. I stopped worrying about dying when I knew there was someone who was there, ready to revive me.
Mercenaries mode this year is very fun to play and can be rewarding when you rack up high scores and kill-streaks. With good maps to play on and a short time limit, it is literally a race against the clock to stay alive and murder everything on your screen in the best way possible. Also, Mercenaries mode ties in with the new ‘skill points’ that are earned through the campaign mode. This is a nice link to have and is an incentive to play the campaign again to get more skill points. Unfortunately the new Agent Hunt mode, where you can jump into a random online players game as a member of the undead and try to kill them, has awful camera controls and is boring to play after a while. The secret campaign is more of the same, repetitive but with aspects of the other three campaigns in it.
Capcom have introduced a cover system into the game that just feels clunky and unresponsive. It is totally unnecessary in what is meant to be a horror survival game. Also, the new combat system is extremely over-powered for the most part, as I was able to take down mobs over enemies with ease, especially as Jake. Despite this, some enemies seem to be oblivious to close combat attacks at one stage in the game, but then take damage from them in another.
At least the world around you in Resident Evil 6 is very diverse and beautiful to look at. From giant skyscrapers in Japan to frozen wastelands, I was spending most of my time wishing that the game played as well as it looked. There were numerous types of zombies and zombie mutations which all looked unique and detailed. The variety of zombies means that are many ways of finishing them off with flawless ‘finisher moves’, which are downright ridiculous but also very rewarding when you pull them off. The zombie-spawning Lepotitsa, or the Rasklapanje are just two of the new monsters that are included in the game, a bold move from Capcom, but one that has definitely paid off. The new monsters added some interesting moments to the game, as well as some nice lines from the characters.
In an attempt to be a bigger and better game, Resident Evil 6 has lost all that made the game a house-hold franchise. No fear, no suspense and a poor campaign left a truly bitter taste in my mouth and I think that maybe Resident Evil should finally stay dead. The game is saved only by the wonderful cutscenes and beautiful graphics, but apart from that I felt like I was playing some awful re-hash of a straight to DVD zombie movie.